The noose is tightening on foreigners laundering money into Australian property, with the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) questioning real estate agents in expensive Melbourne eastern suburb locations, which are known to be hotspots for overseas buyers. From The AFR:
“They’re concerned about how they’re moving the money into Australia, and they know property is one of those purchases that can absorb a huge amount of money, very very quickly,” a South Yarra-based property agent said.
“But they’re also asking how these deals are being done”…
The Australian Crime Commission said since December it had been involved in an investigation focusing on real estate and the role it played in hiding illegal foreign funds…
Information found during the ACC investigation will be shared with the Foreign Investment Review Board and other law enforcement agencies.
This is great news and, along with the Government’s tightening of the foreign ownership regime, should hopefully help to stem the flow of foreign investment into established dwellings.
Just last week I had a 15 minute conversation with a real estate agent that works in Melbourne’s inner east. When I asked whether foreigners were have much of an impact on the property market the agent responded “absolutely massive” and then went on to explain how there were a lot of funny deals going on. He also told me to check-out Glen Waverley, where he said the impact from Chinese money had been particularly extreme, along with some locations in the Boroondara local government area.
The evidence is there, all the authorities have to do look.